People v. Castleberry, 2015 IL 116916 (November 2015). Episode 112 (Duration 6:11)
“Void Sentence Rule” is abolished; here the judge only applied one 15 year add to consecutive sentences when he should have applied it twice.
The void sentence rule stated that “A sentence which does not conform to a statutory requirement is void.” Void sentences could be attacked collaterally, directly, indirectly or at any time.
However, a voidable sentence “is one entered erroneously by a court having jurisdiction and is not subject to collateral attack.” The problem is that the voidness claims were really claiming that a court did not jurisdiction when they acted outside the law.
But circuit courts are granted their jurisdiction from the Illinois Constitution not from any particular statute. Thus, a statutory requirement or prerequisite cannot be jurisdictional, since jurisdiction is conferred on the circuit courts by our state constitution.
Because of all this and Rule 604(a), which says the state cannot appeal a sentence, the reviewing court did not have any authority to just add the additional 15 years to defendant’s sentence. Also, Rule 615(b)(4) prevents the appellate court from increasing a sentence.
The State may, in appropriate circumstances, seek relief from this court via the writ of mandamus. In general, mandamus is an “ ‘extraordinary remedy to enforce, as a matter of right, “the performance of official duties by a public officer where no exercise of discretion on his part is involved.”